Building Name

"Netherheys," Watford

Hertfordshire, England
William Wallis Baldwin
New build
C. Brightman, of Watford

To design a house on a small scale which shall have the comfort and convenience of large one is not an easy matter, or. if it be easy, it is not often done. In houses of little more than cottage dimensions there is generally nip or pinch somewhere; entrance, parlours, bedroom, or kitchen usually succumb to some hardship of size, aspect, or shape. But in “Netherhey”s there has been a very critical adjustment of claims, in fact so nice did it appear to that I feel much indebted the architect owner for his permission to publish the plan, which explains for the benefit of others how he has worked out the problem of making a small bouse thoroughly cosy, comfortable, and complete.


In an area of less than an acre, surrounded on two sides by broad roads, in the suburbs of Watford, “Netherheys” has advantages of position, aspect, and surrounding which are not usually devoted to so small a bouse. By the design of its exterior the cottage-like appearance is very marked, mote especially on the entrance front. Passing through the quaintly-designed gateway the drive opens into a square gravel court bordered by square-cut yew hedges, It will be seen from the plan that the outbuilding to the left flanks and protects the entrance agreeably, and between this and the stair turret is a paved landing. The porch is nicely finished with marble step, mosaic floor, high dado of oak framing with serge panels, and leather paper wall-filling and ceiling. A good feature, and one we seldom meet with, is the circular stair turret. The stairs are shut off from the porch by a doorway, and from the hall by a curtained archway. This semi-circular arch repeats at the other end of the hall, and within it are arranged in a "V"-shape the doors to the drawing-room and own room. This little hall is great feature of comfort in the house with its little corner fireplace (hooded over from marble jambs) and long five-light window with fixed seat under. Generally speaking, the good points of the plan will be obvious to many of my readers. The dining-room is conveniently served from the kitchen, much out of sight and sound as is possible in small house, and far more so than one usually finds in large houses. The fireplace recess is just deep enough to provide comfortable fixed seats at either side of the mantel jambs and gives a very convenient breadth to the room. The garden porch forms useful connection between the dining and drawing rooms. The drawing room is a pretty apartment, with a sort of orange-coloured paper, specially printed for the architect. The third room is fitted as a sort of library and business room, with an arched fireplace recess. The bedrooms, bathroom, and upper corridor landing are all nicely treated. A long terrace and Dutch flower garden are good items in the surroundings which my sketches indicate. As the proof of a pudding is in the eating, so may say of a house, that a proof of its comfort is found by living in it, and we can safely affirm that in all our wanderings we have never realized more fully the benefits of well-designed modern English home than at "Netherheys.”- -T. Raffles Davison. [British Architect 4 December 1891]